Sulfites. You’ve likely heard the word many times, especially associated with wine. But do you know what sulfites actually are? Sulfur dioxide (sulfites) is a chemical compound that is most commonly used as a preservative in a variety of food and beverage products.
Sulfites are added to products to mainly increase shelf life and keep them from spoiling or growing bacteria, but they are also used to enhance and improve the flavor of certain things. You can find sulfites in so many different things, such as soda, juice, sauce, dips and spreads, dried produce, pickled vegetables, sausages, snacks like chips and candy, and many other processed foods. Sulfites can also occur naturally in some foods, like eggs, fruit, fermented foods, and wine, Prosecco included.
No Prosecco without Sulfites
While there are naturally occurring sulfites in wine, some producers choose to add more sulfites in order to keep it fresh longer and decrease the risk for oxidation, which occurs when the wine is mixed with too much oxygen and spoils as a result.
In short, the answer to the question, is there Prosecco without sulfites, is no, it is impossible to produce a wine that is free of all sulfites.
All wine has naturally occurring sulfites, so if you ever see a brand advertising that it is sulfite-free, that is not true. What is true is that there are wines and Prosecco that don’t have any added sulfites, which means that the only sulfites present in the wine were developed from the grapes naturally during the fermentation process.
Naturally occurring sulfites vs Added Sulfites
These natural sulfites are not the enemy; in fact, they are necessary to kill off and prevent bacteria and any other microbes that could spoil the wine and make it undrinkable. The enemy is the added chemicals and sulfites! These are usually the reasons behind those awful hangovers you experience after a night of drinking, even if you only had a few glasses of wine. Many wine lovers notice a big difference in how they feel in the morning when they drink wine that doesn’t have any added sulfites, versus wines that do.
Some of the most common symptoms people feel after consuming wine with added sulfites include headaches, hives, rashes, stomachaches and digestion problems. Wine is supposed to bring you joy and happiness — not feelings of discomfort!
SYLTBAR doesn't add sulfites to prosecco
You might be wondering why wine producers choose to add sulfites then, if these kinds of side effects can occur? Why add more if it’s already present in the wine? It’s because most mass produced wines go through a short fermentation process, to save time and money, which will not produce enough sulfites needed for extended shelf life. Added sulfites preserve the wine’s taste and aromas, as well as its freshness, which keeps it shelf-stable for a longer period of time.
If the wine has gone through a short fermentation process, it will not last longer than a few weeks without the added sulfites. If the wine goes through a longer fermentation process, there is ample time for the wine to produce natural sulfites to keep it stable longer. This is why SYLTBAR does not have any added sulfites; it goes through a long enough fermentation process to give the wine the ability to self stabilize without the need to add anything to it.
There is an average of 25ppm sulfites in any of the SYLTBAR wines, including Mr Premium Prosecco, Mrs Sparkling Rosé and our line of fine wines. Commercial wines have an average of 150ppm. Our wine maker’s belief in natural production, and commitment to ethical vineyard practices, is what keeps SYLTBAR wines clean and natural, without any added chemicals or sulfites.
We are able to do this because we aren’t producing millions of bottles with the same juice all at once, which lowers production costs, but increases the amount of sulfites needed. This is because when you make so many bottles, you need to add more sulfites to guarantee a longer shelf life since it will take much longer to sell all of those bottles, even if you are a big name brand.
Even though it is more expensive to produce smaller quantities of bottles at once, it is better because we don’t need to add sulfites since we know the bottles will sell within the right time frame, while they are still fresh. This is why we add the date on our bottles; it shows that the Prosecco is young and fresh. From what we read from our customers in their reviews, our Prosecco is fresher than others on the market, so we must be doing something right!
SYLTBAR is all about being pure and natural. Our wine producer will never dishonor its integrity by adding or removing anything from the wine that alters its state. This is how winemaking should always be! To shop our no-added-sulfite Prosecco, Sparkling Rosé and fine wine collection, visit syltbar.com or use our locator to find a retailer near you that sells SYLTBAR.